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Oregon’s most populous county urges everyone to wear masks indoors

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                The “Portland, Oregon” sign in, seen in January 2015, in downtown Portland, Ore. Multnomah County health officials in Portland, Oregon, are asking people to wear masks indoors until new COVID-19 counts and hospitalizations start to decline.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    The “Portland, Oregon” sign in, seen in January 2015, in downtown Portland, Ore. Multnomah County health officials in Portland, Oregon, are asking people to wear masks indoors until new COVID-19 counts and hospitalizations start to decline.

PORTLAND, Ore. >> Multnomah County health officials in Portland, Oregon, are asking people to wear masks indoors until new COVID-19 counts and hospitalizations start to decline.

Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines said it is not a mandate but a request for everyone to put their masks back on for a few weeks as they go to school, work and other indoor events, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported. Officials strongly recommend people wear masks in schools.

County officials have not set a case or hospitalization threshold for when they would consider mandating masks, a spokesperson for the health department said.

Multnomah County has been averaging about 350 new cases a day, up from less than 100 in early April.

The current COVID-19 wave is expected to peak in about a month, according to an Oregon Health & Science University forecast.

Nearby Clackamas and Washington counties have not recommended universal indoor masking. Both are also the “medium” COVID-19 risk category and have seen the same or higher case rates over the last week as Multnomah County.

Multnomah County officials also suggested people at high risk of severe COVID-19 consider avoiding crowded indoor settings for the next few weeks.

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